Lewis & Clark host Columbus Day protesters


Downtown schlubs who didn't get a Columbus Day vacation at least got to catch a glam protest at the foot of the Lewis and Clark statue on the way to work.

Wearing evening gowns and beauty pageant sashes, a half-dozen or so protesters hoisted banners decrying the white man's treatment of Native Americans in general and Sacagawea in particular, at West Main and Ridge streets this morning.

"I feel like this has been an issue for a long time," says Miss Informed (Reagan Greenfield), right, about the historical inaccuracies in the Lewis and Clark's depiction of a cowering Sacagawea. Miss Take (Lisa Eller), left, helps her hold the "Happy Genocide Day" banner.

Jen Hoyt Tidwell was on the Downtown Mall last week collecting signatures to take to City Council asking that the statue be relocated and put in some sort of context that acknowledges its historical inaccuracies. Says Tidwell, "We need to have a dialogue about how we tell stories with statues and architecture."

Next in her sights: The statue of George Rogers Clark shooting an Indian on the Corner.

24 comments

Oh Man,
Why are you so annoyed?

...just seems a little childish. I mean isn't there a better way
to accomplish change? Do politicians/people with influence take people in costumes seriously....?

A Lewis and Clark Center rep told the Progress she's supposed to be tracking in the monument. That seems like a fairly noble portrayal.

I know most of the protesters and I can personally assure you the ONLY reason they are protesting is because it gives them an excuse to dress up in stupid outfits and be the center of attention. They just need people to pay attention to them 24/7. The protest would carry more weight if it were being staged by people who had actually thought about this issue more than a few weeks before Columbus Day 2007 and who were motivated by something besides a desire to be theatrical.

People were bad in the past. That's true- what about the indians that fought each other. Why do I owe anybody anything -because some english guys weren't nice? I'm not white should I've been protesting.

Is the point that we do need to get rid of Columbus day?
Ok let's do it. We don't need another federal holiday any way

That is beautiful Rick! I too come from "indentured servants" and my ancestors didn't own much of anything, much less slaves.

Also,Columbus WAS indeed a hacker and Leif Erikson was DA MAN!A Viking Day
would be most appropriate.

Now, having said that, I do think Native Americans got a HUGELY raw deal during the settlement of this country, most likely Sacagawea included. My God, have you ever been to Pine Ridge? I have...the "poor" of our area have nothing to complain...anymore...when you compare their state to the Native
American population.

Now, having said THAT...do the folks hanging around for this demo have a job? If not, they would be much more effective toward the betterment of mankind working for a local charity or even the SPCA.

Cville Eye a -10 for Lonnie is just cruel and there is no such thing as a -0, it's just 0.
"The more you know!"

Yea, I don't know. I'm going to have to score this one for Dear phil.
Dear Phil is winner!

Some of you fall in line behind those who drove by the protest, shouting profanities, flipping the bird, or otherwise losing it completely, simply because you can vent your inner turmoil at those who would resolve our social injustices. I would recommend a change of diet perhaps, exercise, therapy, public service and formal education so that you might begin to understand and respect the point of view of others who recognize an obvious historical injustice in the demeaning statue and symbol of Charlottesville.

It's sad to see the Lewis and Clark Exploratory Center VP Ann Hemenway stand dogmatically behind the statue. Too often there are women who will endorse the oppression of other women, especially across racial and class lines. Now Hemenway's obvious role as an apologist for the demeaning statue has discredited her center.

Lewis and Clark, as well as Columbus, were amateurs. No one consulted my ancestors about that darn James Oglethorpe busting them out of English debtor prison and bringing them to settle Georgia in this oh so horrible country. I need to be compensated. Look for me in my best English poor folk costume in the median on Emmett Street in front of Barracks Road Shopping Center any day now! Checks and cash accepted.

"Settled" is the politically correct word for ...
I wonder how would the United Nations describe it in today's terms.

Jeeps,
Come on, the job thing is pretty tired, don't ya think?
IMO, I know most of the protesters too and I think you're being pretty unfair. You might not agree with the means, but saying they only care about the attention is pretty wicked. Or maybe you don't know them as well as you think.

As I mentioned on C-ville News, A big fallacy that some commenters make is assuming this is all about the past. The human rights abuses against Native Americans continued well into the present. Even in the past few years it was shown that the Bureau of Indian Affairs was ripping off Native Americans to the tune of Billions of dollars. We do still have Native Americans in Virginia and it is disrespectful to them to say the least to misrepresent the role of that Sacagawea played in our history.

Also, I think certain people's protest of updating a simple plaque speaks volumes about why it is actually necessary. Our society and our town still have not really acknowledged the genocide and successive human rights abuses carried out against native citizens of our own country. I know people who were at Pine Ridge when the FBI and their militias were assasinating and killing native rights activists and their families. This isn't just about some crime that was committed by an Italian explorer long ago, but a series of abuses against native people that continue to repeat themselves over and over again. We can't stop that cycle until we finally acknowledge what really happened, and the real name for it.

Well, if the native americans at the protest had been able to also squeeze in a rain dance that worked, I would be all over a new plaque. Just a huge opportunity squandered.

Dear phil, since zero is its own additive inverse, there is such a thing as -0 (read as the opposite of zero); -0 = 0.

Lonnie - 10, Dear phil - 0.

They use -0 in scoring things? That is news.
If you going to do higher math you're I'm going to have to insist that you show your work.

I'm a good overly sensitive liberal like most C-villians, but these people are quickly becoming crazy annoying.

Oh, man can you explain what this demonstration has to do with being liberal and how it is bothering you?

Columbus was an idiot and guilty of crimes against humanity. Having a day to celebrate him is worse than having a holiday to celebrate Slobodan Milosevic. His only claim to fame was accidently running into a continent, after almost starving himself and his crew. He made the almost fatal assumption that Eratosthenes was wrong and that the world was half the size the Greeks knew it to be, and that Asia was twice as large.

If it weren't for the kindness of the native people who nursed his crew back to health then they wouldn't have survived. Nonetheless, one of his first journal entries in the new world speaks of how the native people will make great slaves.

If we have to celebrate the discovery of the new world by Europeans, then perhaps it'd be more fitting to celebrate Leif Ericson instead (Who beat Columbus by almost 500 years).

Perhaps it's just a photo illusion, but doesn't it appear that the woman in this photo is flipping off the passersby?

If it's not covered in the Hook, people stop protesting. Problem solved.

(Before you say it, I should acknowledge that this should be taken with a whole salt shaker.)

Yes, Sophmore, they do, starting at national conventions and continuing through picnics.

Well said Lonnie!